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DEPARTMENTS

Publisher’s Outlook
Merger Mania Has Created Vigorous New Business Opportunities For SMBs
By Nadji Tehrani, Executive Group Publisher,
Technology Marketing Corp.

In the last several years, there have been approximately 33 notable mergers and acquisitions in the contact center industry and, to the best of our knowledge, most of these have been successful business propositions.

High Priority!
The Wisdom Of Marc Benioff And Salesforce.com
By Rich Tehrani, Group Editor-in-Chief,
Technology Marketing Corp.

Recently, I was invited to Manhattan for a Salesforce.com media and customer event. Initially, I wasn’t sure what the event was about — I accepted it blindly. Why? Because there is always something so entertaining and informative about the events this company hosts — I just had to be there.

Customer Inter@ction News™

CallCenterComics.com
By Ozzie Fonesca



Dominican Call Centers Serve The U.S. Hispanic Marketplace

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Interaction Solutions As Hispanic-American consumers become more affluent, they represent a rapidly expanding sector of the business-to-consumer market. American businesses are starting to realize that if they want to reap sales from this increasingly valuable market segment, they need to offer marketing and customer service in both Spanish and English, in whatever combination the customer prefers. And they need to start doing it now. Read the full article at www.tmcnet.com/475.1

Avaya Announces New CIS Capabilities
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor The components of the Avaya Customer Interaction Suite are Call Center, Voice Portal, and the new reporting and analytics platform, Avaya IQ. Read the full article at www.tmcnet.com/476.1

Study: Voice Biometrics Could Solve CRM Woes
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor Caller identification procedures and the need to protect customer privacy and information may prove to be a bigger challenge than contact centers can handle, according to research by Biometric Security Ltd., a provider of voice-based biometric verification and identity management. Read the full article at www.tmcnet.com/477.1


Last Call

Looks Like JetBlue Picked The Wrong Day To Quit Sniffing Glue
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions
By now, everybody knows of the JetBlue debacle. The airline kept planes full of people on iced runways for up to 10 hours last month and canceled up to 1,000 flights during and in the week following a nasty winter storm that blew through much of the central and eastern part of the country, particularly New York's JFK airport, JetBlue's hub.

ASK THE EXPERT
With Tim Passios, Director of Product Management, Interactive Intelligence
Q: As we consider adding additional media types such as e-mail and Web chat to our contact center, are there certain things we should
consider in order to improve our success rate?


CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Insight Into Alternative CRM: On-Demand And Open-Source
By Chris Harrick, SugarCRM
According to Gartner, roughly 50 percent of CRM implementations fail to meet customer expectations. It's no secret that getting your employees to adopt a CRM system is often difficult and incredibly stressful. How can you find a 'magic' CRM system that will grow your business, give you an edge over the competition and be readily adopted by your employees? The answer: do your research.

Winning Friends For CRM: Five Keys To Gaining
By Mike Santoro Technology Advisors, Inc.
When the implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) solution fails, many business leaders immediately pin the blame on the software. Software does play a major role in a CRM system, so the assumption that it is at fault is not unreasonable.

CRM Solutions: The Eyebrow Tweezers Or Flamethrower?
By David Sims Contributing Editor, TMCnet
One, do you like having customers for your business's products or services? Answer 'yes' or 'no.' Two, do you think that if you took better care of your customers and learned what kinds of things they'd like to buy that, maybe, they'd buy more stuff from you more often? Again, answer either 'yes' or 'no.'

OUTSOURCING
Customer Inter@ction Solutions Magazine's Twenty-Second Annual Top 50 Outbound Teleservices Agencies Ranking
This is the twenty-second year Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine brings you its 'Top 50' Teleservices Agencies Ranking. In this issue, we're presenting the 'Top 50' outbound portion of the ranking. (The inbound portion of the ranking will be highlighted in the April 2007 issue.) Since its inception in 1986, our 'Top 50' ranking has been used as the benchmark for choosing large-capacity/sized teleservices agencies.

MANAGEMENT SCOPE
No Longer Just About Outbound: A Moment With Stratasoft’s New CEO
By Tracey E. Schelmetic Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions
In business since 1995, Houston-based Stratasoft Inc. is a computer telephony/call center software provider with a comprehensive patent portfolio that includes predictive dialing, predictive dialing algorithms, contact center database management, contact center campaign scripting and contact center management systems.

CONTACT CENTER TECHNOLOGY
Beyond the Humble Reader Board: Display Technologies Roundup
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, Editorial Director, Customer Inter@ction Solutions
Along with the modest headset and the unassuming ergonomic chair, a call center's message board may be the next most critical but often underappreciated piece of equipment. Large reader boards have been used in call centers for decades to collect data from the ACD and display the information to keep call center employees and managers apprised, at a glance, of whether they were 'on' or 'off' at any given moment. In the 1980s, the boards offered one-size-fits-all information, and if you weren't in the board's direct line of sight, you had a problem.

Deploying Digital Signage In Your Company
By Bob Brittan, Symon Communications Inc.
Chances are pretty good that you have already thought about a plasma or LCD screen for your home or business. With manufacturers constantly facing competitive pressures on cost, the true winner is definitely the consumer, in both the private and commercial sectors. HDTV (high-definition television) broadcasting has entered the mainstream, and satellite and cable companies are constantly in the news.

IP CONTACT CENTER
Investing In SIP For The Contact Center
By Betsy Wood and Shane O'Neill, Nortel
It's universal ' nobody likes to wait. When you want something ' whether it's an answer to a critical question, the newest gadget or an important decision ' you want it right now! That's the way it is across all demographic groups. It's the same for your customers, who expect your business to be responsive and helpful. And, of course, your customers also count on getting this service 24 hours a day, every day of
the year.

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Want to the learn more about call centers and CRM? Then be sure to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the contact center industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. The papers are authored by industry leaders who, in turn, receive qualified sales leads from interested parties. Visit www.tmcnet.com/tmc/whitepapers.


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